Reducing saturated fat

Although free of phos, liquid oil alone could not provide enough function in baked foods. Palm oil may replace phos, but then the baked food will have a higher saturated fat level.

Emulsifiers represent a potential solution, Monoglycerides, thanks to their high melting point, may work with liquid oils in reducing saturated fat, Mr. Cottrell said.

“You can make a very high quality cake with vegetable oil using emulsifiers,” he said.

The level of saturated fat reduction in baked foods depends on the shortening system the baker uses, Mr. Robertson said.

“Typical saturated fat content of shortenings is between 35% to 55% while liquid vegetable oils contain between 8% to 15% saturated fat,” he said. “When the shortening in the cake formula is replaced with a vegetable oil, a significant reduction is achieved. However, the absolute reduction is dependent on the shortening being replaced (soy vs. palm), as well as the vegetable oil being used in the replacement (i.e. canola vs. soybean oil).”

Palsgaard, Juelsminde, Denmark, also offers emulsifiers, many of them containing palm oil, that may be used in replacing phos and reducing saturated fat in products such as baked foods, dairy products, chocolate, ice cream, margarine products, mayonnaise and dressings. A 50% fat reduction was achieved in puff pastry margarines without affecting functional properties. Conventional puff pastry margarine has up to 80% fat content. Also developed was a devil’s food cake that was gluten-free and sugar-free and had no trans fat.

Many functions for emulsifiers

Besides fat reduction, emulsifiers provide several other benefits in baked foods. Emulsifiers act as foaming agents in cakes to create higher volume and to soften the crumb of the cake, said David Guilfoyle, group manager bakery/fats and oils for DuPont Nutrition & Health. Emulsifiers also stabilize the batter aeration to improve manufacturing tolerances.

“Emulsifiers in bread create higher volume bread and buns and in some cases can soften the crumb of the bread and buns,” Mr. Guilfoyle said. “Emulsifiers also improve dough handling, manufacturing tolerances and shock tolerances by strengthening the gluten network.

“As an anti-staling agent, emulsifiers bind with the amylose portion of starch and make it more difficult for the amylose starch to retrograde during shelf life. Emulsifiers can also add a couple of days of shelf life to a baked product by keeping the water and oil bound together and providing a moister product. Cookie formulas can benefit from emulsifiers, especially in soft cookie formulas, as the emulsifier will create a softer textured cookie.”